The 9 best herbs to grow in fall and winter

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ISLANDFor the past few months, you have been pampered by the riches of your carefully planted, well-kept garden. After all, there is nothing like a wine-ripe tomato, sun-warmed peppers or a fresh salad with lettuce and kale from your backyard. But when the last few weeks of summer pass us by, it does not mean that we have to say goodbye to all the joy a garden brings. Even though you may not be able to harvest as many fruits and vegetables, you will still be able to enjoy some of the best herbs to grow in the fall and winter if you play your cards right.

While some herbs like basil, dill and parsley are best for the summer, there are plenty of other aromatics that actually do quite well in the colder seasons as well. So if you want to keep training your green thumb, there is still plenty of time to get some seedlings in the ground, especially if you choose wisely. “Make sure you choose plants that will overwinter well,” says Kalei Buczek, director of the ReWild Plant and Flower Study in Washington, DC. “These are plants that will retain their foliage and be evergreen or come back in the spring.”

When it comes to the best herbs to grow in the fall and winter, you will want to check to see in which USDA hardiness zone you are located. These zones, which are based on temperature, are the key to helping gardeners understand which herbs work best for their particular gardens. However, there are a few herbs that should do relatively well regardless of zone due to their hardy nature. We’ve put together some of our favorites below.

The best herbs to plant in the fall and winter

Rosemary

“Rosemary is a true champion, becoming beautiful and woody and can even be pruned all the way back to promote soft, green growth in the spring,” says Buczek. “In addition, it retains its foliage through the winter.” Not to mention, there is nothing like roasted potatoes with fresh (or dried) rosemary.

Lavender

Like rosemary, lavender also becomes woody in the colder months and retains its growth. Then there is the fact that it is known as the “plant of peace” for its stress-breaking benefits. Drizzle it like a tea to help you stay warm and relax.

Catnip

“Catmint grows vigorously without much maintenance,” says Buczek. But just be warned that frost will kill it – so you could possibly plant yours in an indoor herb garden indoor herb garden. Fortunately, if yours is outdoors and gets frostbite, it grows easily again in the spring, according to Buczek.

Bibalsam

Buczek recommends using bibalam for tea as it is part of the mint family. “It dies in the fall, but comes back in the spring and is an amazing pollinator plant,” she says.

Echinacea

Another good herb for your morning brews after the cold and flu season is echinacea, as boosting your immunity is one of its many health and skin benefits. Others include its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Plus, it can help improve collagen production, NBD.

Thyme

Do you live in a place with particularly harsh winters? Thyme is a hardy herb that you should consider adding to your crop rotation in cold weather. “I’ve seen thyme grow instead of grass on small patios because it creeps well,” Buczek says. “Some varieties overwinter better than others depending on how mild the winter is, but you can expect it to grow again in the spring regardless,” she adds.

Oregano

An integral part of Italian cooking, oregano has many of the same qualities as thyme in terms of its growth habits and patterns, making it ideal for planting in late season.

Chives and garlic

“Both alliums, these bulbous perennials are made to survive the winter and push up again in the spring,” says Buczek. “Garlic is meant to be harvested when the first few leaves of the plant turn yellow, and then carnations can be planted in mid-autumn.”

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